Three years ago, Jason Denham of Denham Jeans and Bob Rijnders of Butcher of Blue conceived the idea of producing a limited numbered run of one hundred pairs of The Butcher Jean. The collaborative project’s goal was simple albeit slightly ambitious. Enlisting the help of each customer, the duo aimed to completely document the journey of each pair over a one-year period.
Though not all wearers were able to commit their efforts, forty of the one hundred customers fortunately agreed to participate (in exchange for a handsome €300.00 store credit). Each was instructed to record each and every relevant event in a special Denham x Butcher diary, and turn in with the denim one year later.
The rules of the project were as follows:
- Wear your jeans everyday for a year.
- Never wash them.
- Record every spit, spot, blemish, stain, rip and tear.
- Note the damage in your Denham x Butcher Diary.
- Keep the faith. It won’t be easy. You’ll need dedication.
- The rest is up to you. Eat in them, dance, sleep, rock, smoke, drink, bone, fight or slide. Just make sure not to take any care.
Fast forward one year to March 2013 and each owner was invited to the Denham x Butcher ”Wash Friday” event to meet one another, as well exchange diaries and jeans for their store credit. There was even a professional tailor on-site to repair any major rips or tears, and water-filled tub for washing.
Once all was said and done, a celebratory event was held in April 2013 at Dutch denim shop, Best of Brands, aptly entitled, ”Butcher of Blue: Book Presentation and Exhibition“.
Every pair tells a completely different story, from the occasional office wearer with just a few fadings to the hardcore everyday user with a huge crotch blowout. From an ex-professional football player to a full-time painter, a great spectrum of fading nuances were on show.
Where is the denim now and what will be done with it? Rijnders is holding all denim in his archive and as a creative inspiration for future washes. Since every pair was photographed and registered with the original owner’s name, he’s able to name the wash after the wearer as a small token of his gratitude.